The operators of an 18th century pub have ended their tenancy with a "very heavy heart" after the pandemic hit their business.

The White Horse in Chorleywood Road, built in 1722, is currently managed by Richie and Lisa who have lived in the village for many years.

In a post on Facebook, they said: “It is with a very heavy heart, that we have given notice on our tenancy here at The White Horse.

Read more:

“We as a business, have not recovered from the recent pandemic, and unfortunately times have changed for the pub world!

Watford Observer: The White Horse. Picture: Google Street ViewThe White Horse. Picture: Google Street View

“Thank you all for your support over the last five years, we have met some great people and had a fabulous time being part of your community.”

They added: "We are here until Greene King find a suitable tenant. Our notice period is for up to six months."

The pub's chef Mike is also moving onto a new job, with his last day being Sunday, meaning from next week only pizza will be served.

"Mike has been a great part of our team here and will be greatly missed by all," they added.

Watford Observer: The White Horse. Picture: Google Street ViewThe White Horse. Picture: Google Street View

Patrons on Facebook said they were “sad” and “gutted” after hearing the news.

Andrew Milne, Greene King's business development manager, said: “I am seeking an experienced operator to run the White Horse.

“This is a community pub, and I would like to retain this feel but also enhance it with the right operator to take this further and explore new potential by developing more community events and activities along with serving traditional pub food.

“I would like the successful applicant to breathe new life into the White Horse.”

Anyone who wants to take over the location would need £29,175 in entry costs.

The Greene King listing describes the pub as having "real character" with "many original features including open fires and lovely patio areas".

“The pub is ready to welcome new inspiration from an enthusiastic operator with local knowledge and a passion for quality ale and great service.”

It is unclear what will happen if new operators are not found within six months, but the pub is still open and the current owners will continue to manage the pub for the six month notice period.

When asked if it could guarantee the pub would not be shut, a Greene King spokesperson said: “We have no plans to sell or close The White Horse.”

Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

To receive breaking news alerts or newsletters sign up here.